Leeds United vs. Man. City Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, Oct. 3)
ALEX LIVESEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcelo Bielsa
- Leeds have scored eight goals through three games in its return to the Premier League.
- Man. City is coming off a three-goal defeat to Leicester, but Michael Leboff likes them to bounce back.
Premier League: Man. City vs. Leeds United Odds
|Man. City Odds||-315 [BET NOW]|
|Leeds United Odds||+700 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-105/-120) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET|
For a sport that loves to glorify — and vilify — its managers, there are very few matchups that are more intriguing than Saturday’s Premier League showdown between Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola.
Early-season wobble aside, Guardiola’s City projects to be one of the elite teams in Europe again in 2020/21. On the other hand, Bielsa’s Leeds United has earned the reputation as one of the most exciting teams in England over the last two-plus seasons and have already played a pair of seven-goal thrillers to start its first Premier League season since 2004.
Both sides love to attack and their managers make for fantastic opponents, with Guardiola saying that Bielsa “is probably the person I admire most in world football” prior to the game. Let’s hope Saturday’s match lives up to the hype.
If you watched, read or listened to any mainstream soccer coverage over the past few days, you’d think that Manchester City’s season is over after just two games. A 5-2 loss to Leicester City last weekend was as sloppy as the scoreline suggests.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
City may have only allowed 0.6 non-penalty expected goals, but the three penalties they did concede came through shaky defensive play. Jamie Vardy wreaked havoc on the defense and has the hat trick to prove it.
City’s back four was what ultimately ruined their performance against Leicester, but the attack sputtered to a measly, by their standards, 1.2 xG. The Sky Blues were without their top striking options in Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, but they still had plenty of attacking talent in their lineup. They just couldn’t find their way through Leicester’s low block.
City won’t need to worry about trying to solve another low block on Saturday, as Bielsa’s side is obsessed with going forward. That type of matchup should suit Guardiola and could lead to a see-saw battle like we saw when Leeds opened its league season against champions Liverpool, falling in an admirable 4-3 defeat.
City’s defense should be bolstered with Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias slotting into the lineup, but Leeds’ offense will still provide a stern test for Guardiola’s side.
Bielsa’s Leeds United know only one way to play. It uses an all-pitch press to win the ball and spring into action offensively. It is a joy to watch and a really tough style to play against when Leeds are on song.
There were doubters who thought that Bielsa’s 90-minute press wouldn’t work for Leeds in the Premier League, but two wins from their first three games is a good start. That said, the Peacocks are fortunate to be sitting on six points through three games.
Leeds boasted one of the best defensive records in the EFL Championship last season. They allowed just 35 goals in 46 matches and gave up fewer shots per match than any other team in the second tier.
Those defensive metrics haven’t translated yet in the Premier League, as Leeds have allowed seven goals and 6.24 xG through their first three games. One of those contests was against Liverpool, but Fulham found a way to score three times against Bielsa’s men. Leeds was also fortunate not to concede against Sheffield United in a 1-0 win that saw the Blades create 1.53 XG.
While Leeds can survive against teams like Fulham and Sheffield United, City is built to thrive in these kinds of all-action games.
Leeds vs. Man City Betting Pick
Sometimes it’s best not to overthink things. Both of these teams like to press, they both are always thinking about attacking and they both are unwavering in how they play the game. There should be a lot of scoring chances in this match.
Scoring is on the rise in the Premier League this season because of some asinine rule changes, but forgetting that, I can’t think of a better environment for goals than Leeds United vs. Manchester City.
In addition to the Over 3.5, I also am going to have a flutter on City to win by at least 3 goals. This projects to be a high-event match and that increases the likelihood of a blow-out win for the favorite.
The Bet: Over 3.5 Goals (-110); Man City -2.5 (+225)